Self-love is the appreciation of one’s own worth, value, well-being, and happiness. In order to truly love others, we must first love ourselves. The Bible defines love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV). This does not just apply to romantic love. It also applies to self-love. The verses state that, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Love is a verb. It requires actions. Practice loving yourself in the following ways: Be patient and kind to yourself. Do not be jealous of what others have and do not be prideful in what you have. Honor yourself, don’t be selfish, don’t be so quick to get angry, and forgive yourself for the wrongs you have done. Do not partake in what is evil. Protect your energy, trust in the Lord, have hope, and never give up.
Self-love is not easy. It is a process just as any relationship is. The relationship you build with yourself is just as important as the relationship you build with others. You owe this to yourself. You are worthy of love. You were created in the image and likeness of God. God, who loved the world so much, gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19 NIV), and when we love, the rewards that we gain are unimaginable: “…Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16 NIV). “Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor” (Proverbs 21:21 NIV).
Loving yourself first will make it easier to extend this same love to others. The Word says, “…love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:39 NIV). God loves you, so you should love you. When you love you, you love others. God has commanded us to love others as we love ourselves. This starts with self-love. It starts from within. You are capable of love because God says so. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV).
Contributor – K. Wyatt